Special Report: National Book Fair set to go ahead despite planned rallies in late March

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BANGKOK, 28 March 2014  Organizers of this year’s National Book Fair and Bangkok International Book Fair expressed confidence that major political rallies on March 29 are not expected to effect the running of the event. 

The Publishers and Booksellers Association of Thailand (PUBAT) will host the book fairs from March 28 to April 7 at the Queen Sirikit Convention Center. The event will be held under the theme “the World is a Novel”, underlying the close relationship between the real world and the literary sphere.

HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn presided over the opening ceremony of the 42nd National Book Fair and the 12th Bangkok International Book Fair 2014 on Friday. She will also present awards to the winning books of this year.

The book fairs are hosted to highlight the importance of reading and learning to the public and to promote creative and critical thinking. The event offers a wide variety of premium quality local and international books to local book lovers.

PUBAT noted that despite reports that rival political groups will stage rallies from March 29 to April 5, the event should continue to attract up to 2 million visitors during its run. Security around the site has nonetheless been beefed up as a precaution.

They further revealed that 432 local and 37 international publishing houses will attend the fairs and around 3,000 new books will be unveiled.

Exhibitions at the event will showcase literary work from neighboring countries and books written by HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn and a new comprehensive literary website titled www.thaibooksociety.com will be launched.

UNESCO has awarded Bangkok the World Book Capital City in 2013. However, there have been concerns over the decreasing amount of books that Thai citizens read on an annual basis. The latest study suggests that Thais aged 6 and over read only around 39 minutes of texts per day.